A Bloody Day in October 1818

Being desperately low of ammunition and supplies, Michael had appealed to Warburton for help, having been told by the hunter he could fetch all he needed from Worrell, a stockman for Edward Lord. Feeling uncertain at this plan, Michael requested Warburton to fetch the supplies for him, but of course, the hunter refused. It took three hours for Michael to approach the hut, knowing in his heart that all was not right. He wished to leave and head back to the safety of the upper Shannon, but after several attacks on his life by aboriginal tribes, Michael knew that gaining these supplies was vital for his continued survival. Slowly, he moved towards the door, where behind it Pugh and Worrell were patiently waiting for their prey. With his pistol cocked, Michael opened the door and as his eyes adjusted to the murky gloom, he spied Pugh and Worrell waiting for him.

“Is this your game?” Michael cried and fired a shot, before sprinting back the way he came, with Worrell and Pugh charging after him. Heartbreakingly, Michael fell down an unexpected bank and as he struggled to his feet, Worrell covered him with his pistol and called on him to stand. For a moment, Michael, who was wearing his patchwork cloak of kangaroo skin, stared in shock at the stockman before defiantly calling, “black beard against grey beard for a million!” The pair fired at each other, with Michael’s shot missing but Worrell’s taking effect, causing Michael to stagger in pain. Mustering all the strength he had left, Michael attempted to climb the bank, but was quickly overpowered by Pugh who took hold of him and threw him to the ground. While he struggled to break free from Pugh’s grasp, Worrell lurched at him and drove the bayonet of his musket deeply into Michael’s side, causing him to roar in pain. In intense pain and bleeding profusely, Michael’s grip on Pugh relaxed and he fainted. This wasn’t enough for Worrell and Pugh, however, and the pair took up their muskets and repeatedly smashed them against Michael’s head, until the Yorkshireman’s face was an unrecognisable mess of blood and bruised flesh. With this act completed, the head was cut off and his body roughly buried where he had fallen.

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